The aim of rotor load models is to characterize and generate the thrust loads acting on an offshore wind turbine. Ideally, the rotor simulation can be replaced by time series from a model with a few parameters and state variables only. Such models are used extensively in control system design and, as a potentially new application area, structural optimization of support structures. Different rotor load models are here evaluated for a jacket support structure in terms of fatigue lifetimes of relevant structural variables. All models were found to be lacking in accuracy, with differences of more than 20% in fatigue load estimates. The most accurate models were the use of an effective thrust coefficient determined from a regression analysis of dynamic thrust loads, and a novel stochastic model in state-space form. The stochastic model explicitly models the quasi-periodic components obtained from rotational sampling of turbulent fluctuations. Its state variables follow a mean-reverting Ornstein–Uhlenbeck process. Although promising, more work is needed on how to determine the parameters of the stochastic model and before accurate lifetime predictions can be obtained without comprehensive rotor simulations.
One contribution of 17 to a theme issue ‘New perspectives in offshore wind energy’.
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